Mark's Gospel chapter 12
objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read
layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses
for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each
verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)
The Parable of the Tenants
Paying the Imperial Tax
Marriage at the Resurrection
The Greatest Commandment
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
Warning Against the Teachers of the Law
The Widow's Offering
of the Tenants
(Jesus tells a story about a man's vineyard
& watchtower) Jesus then
began to speak to them in parables: “A
man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit
for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard
to some farmers and moved to another place.
2 (the man sends to collect
fruit) At harvest time he sent
a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit
of the vineyard.
3 (the tenants beat him and
send him away) But they seized
him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
4 (this is repeated but worse)
Then he sent another servant to them;
they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.
5 (repeated a third time they
kill the collectors) He sent
still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others;
some of them they beat, others they killed.
6 (he finally sends his son)
“He had one left to send, a son,
whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, ‘They will
respect my son.'
7 (they plot to kill him)
“But the tenants said to one another,
‘This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will
8 (thus they kill the son)
So they took him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
asks what will happen – the vineyard will be taken from the tenants)
“What then will the owner
of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give
the vineyard to others.
10,11 (he refers to the scripture
about the cornerstone rejected) Haven't
you read this passage of Scripture: “‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this,
and it is marvellous in our eyes' [Psa 118:22,23]?”
12 (the authorities want to
arrest Jesus – but don't) Then
the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders looked
for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable
against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they
left him and went away.
Imperial Tax to Caesar
13 (Pharisees & Herodians
seek to trap Jesus) Later they
sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch
him in his words.
14 (they ask about paying
taxes to Caesar) They came to
him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity.
You aren't swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who
they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the
truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?
15 (Jesus realises what they
are doing) Should we pay or
shouldn't we?” But Jesus knew
their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he
asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”
16 (he makes them look at
a Roman coin) They brought the
coin, and he asked them, “Whose
image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar's,”
17 (Jesus' wise answer defuses
their trap) Then Jesus said
to them, “Give back
to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.” And
they were amazed at him.
The question is doubled edged. Paying tax to Caesar annoyed the
Jews, refusing to pay would annoy the Romans)
at the Resurrection
18 (next Sadducees come)
Then the Sadducees, who say
there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
19 (they pose a hypothetical
situation) “Teacher,” they said,
“Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a
wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up
offspring for his brother.
20-22 (it is about a repeated
widow) Now there were seven
brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children.
The second one married
the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same
with the third. In fact, none of the seven left any children.
Last of all, the woman died too.
23 (what happens at the resurrection)
At the resurrection whose wife
will she be, since the seven were married to her?”
24 ( Jesus denounces their
ignorance) Jesus replied,
“Are you not in error because
you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
25 (it doesn't work like that!)
When the dead rise, they will neither
marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in
26 (he refers to God meeting
Moses) Now about the dead rising—have
you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning
bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of
Isaac, and the God of Jacob' [Ex 3:6]? )
27 (he shows resurrection
is real) He is not the God of
the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”
The Sadducees didn't believe in a resurrection and seek to show
the problems that arise with that idea, but Jesus points out that
God is always in the present – in our lives and afterwards)
28 (a teacher asks about the
Law) One of the teachers of
the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus
had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments,
which is the most important?”
29,30 (loving God comes first)
“The most important one,” answered
Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear,
O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength. '[ Deut
31 (loving your neighbour
comes next) The second is this:
‘Love your neighbour as yourself. '[Lev 19:18]
There is no commandment greater than
32,33 (the teacher agrees)
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied.
“You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other
but him. To love him with
all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your
strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important
than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 (Jesus affirms the man)
When Jesus saw that he had answered
wisely, he said to him, “You
are not far from the kingdom of God.” And
from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
Is the Messiah?
35 (Jesus is asked about the
Messiah) While Jesus was teaching
in the temple courts, he asked, “Why
do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of
36 (he refers to what David
has said) David himself, speaking
by the Holy Spirit, declared: “‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”
37 (clearly it meant more
than being David's son) David
himself calls him ‘Lord.' How then can he be his son?” The
large crowd listened to him with delight.
Warning Against the Teachers of the Law
38,39 (Jesus warns the crowd
about the pride of the teachers of the law) As
he taught, Jesus said, “Watch
out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing
robes and be greeted with respect in the market places,
and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places
of honour at banquets.
40 (he warns of their wrong
doings) They devour widows'
houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be
punished most severely.”
The Widow's Offering
41 (Jesus is near the place
of offerings ) Jesus sat down
opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched
the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich
people threw in large amounts.
42 (he observes a widow giving)
But a poor widow came and put in
two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43,44 (he applauds her to
his disciples) Calling his disciples
to him, Jesus said, “Truly
I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than
all the others. They
all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put
in everything—all she had to live on.”